YPSILANTI, Mich. (WXYZ) - The Eastern Michigan University Women's Basketball Team will head to Newton, Connecticut to put on a basketball clinic for the children of Sandy Hook Elementary.
A little more than two months have passed since the school shooting, and Coach Tory Verdi knew he could not pass up the chance to help out a town still rebounding from such a horrific tragedy.
“Our biggest thing is just to have those people of Newton understand that they are not alone in this and have them move on and move forward,” said Coach Verdi.
Coach Verdi and his team will travel to Connecticut on February 10 to hold the free basketball clinic.
“I truly can’t wait to get down there and be a part of it,” said Coach Verdi. He was born and raised in Connecticut and had his first coaching job at a high school just ten minutes from Newtown. When the school shooting happened in December, Coach Verdi knew he could use his personal connection for a greater good.
“Our goal and our objective is just to have a great, fun event for these kids, and just to have a fun filled day for these kids,” said Coach Verdi. Within just 24 hours of announcing the camp, 220 children had already registered.
“My first reaction was, wow. I was excited, extremely excited,” said Denaya Brazzle. She plays for EMU and jumped at the chance to be a part of the clinic.
“It’s just an amazing feeling to know that we’re helping the kids and touching their lives,” said Brazzle.
The clinic called “Smiles and Basketball” will score with children from kindergarten through eighth grade.
The day camp is sure to become one of the biggest wins this team will ever have.
“We want these kids you know to just run around, act like kids, and have a great time. That’s what we are expecting,” said Coach Verdi.
The team will leave for Connecticut right after their home game on Friday February 9. They will have a quick turnaround and just be gone for the weekend.
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